Today we hear the phrase renewable energy more than ever. However, there are many people that are not sure what this really means. Some are not even sure what renewable energy sources are available today and what the pros and cons are to each one. So, here is a look at what renewable energy is, why it’s important, and the types of renewable energy out there.
What Exactly is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is energy that comes from sources that are natural and that can be naturally replenished in a quick amount of time. It also has the potential to offer energy in the future as well.
The Importance of Renewable Energy
While you may have heard of renewable energy over and over again, you may not be sure why this type of energy is so important. Well, energy that comes from fossil fuels causes a lot of problems in the environment. When you burn fossil fuels, they generate various greenhouse gases, which get trapped in the atmosphere, which leads to a warming of the climate. Also, fossil fuels will eventually run out and it takes many years to naturally reproduce them as well. This is why we need energy that is renewable. It is better for the environment and is renewable as well.
Types of Renewable Energy
There are many different types of renewable energy that we know about today. Here is a look at some of the options out there for those interested in using renewable energy to help save the environment.
– Wind Power – Wind power is renewable energy that comes from the wind and wind turbines can be used to harness the wind to help provide electricity. Many countries are beginning to use wind power. You should note that it can be expensive to put in wind turbines, but researchers are trying to find better ways that the wind power can be harnessed and used.
– Solar Power – Solar power is one of the most commonly known types of renewable energy. Solar panels can be used to collect the energy from the sun. There are a variety of benefits to this power. First of all, nothing is taken from the earth for the energy, but you do have to have the proper equipment to use the rays from the sun. Of course it is easy to payback the energy and resources used to create equipment to harness the sun. It is a great way to achieve energy independence on a home level as well.
– Hydro Power – Hydro power takes the power from a flowing body of water. It uses that inertia to spin turbines or to offer power for a mill. It has been used for many years. Many mills have used it to grind grain and this type of power has even been used to power homes.
– Tidal Power – Tidal power uses the kinetic energy of the tides moving out and moving in. Special turbines can tap this energy, but the costs and maintenance are huge, which is definitely a drawback.
– Biomass – This type of energy is created by animal waste and plant material being burned to generate the energy. However, there are challenges that are very similar to that of fossil fuels when it comes to burning these materials.
– Wave Power – Wave power is another method of harnessing the power of water. It uses special floating structure that move along with the waves and takes that movement and makes it into electricity. This is a new form of renewable energy and still needs quite a bit of work to make it effective.
These are just a few of the options available when it comes to renewable energy. Other types of renewable energy include biogas, biofuel, and geothermal power.
Photo by: Andrea Danti –
- Obama Press Conference Address Oil and Renewable Energy (ipwatchdog.com)
- “If the Economy Recovers, Renewable Energy Will Continue to Rebound” (energyrefuge.com)
- There’s nothing inherently sustainable about renewable energy (windconcernsontario.wordpress.com)